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tv   News  Al Jazeera America  December 9, 2013 10:00am-11:01am EST

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>> hello, and welcome to the news hour. from al jazeera news center in doha, london. here are the top stories. moving in favor of the syrian government. it is now in control of the key western highway. a senior rebel commander is arrested which french troops in the central african republic. >> i have the news from europe,
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in ukraine mass protests soon could be broken up. the first social supermarket selling cheap food to locals on benefits. we begin in syria where government forces are claiming control of the west. it means that they control the only supply route from northern syria to the south. >> reporter: the desperate fight to defend one of the last bastians. this is the mountainous region that runs parallel to the border with lebanon. it has been in rebel hands for almost a year, but they have been forced out by a strong counterattack. over the last three weeks it has
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fallen to syria forces. they take over the major supply routes. the only significant area left in rebel hand is a town that is surrounded. the rebel fighters are led by groups of al-qaeda, but they are also led by the free syrian army. both have taken heavy losses. on sunday, a top ranking hezbollah commander was among the dead. but it is not just armed
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fighters being killed. there are reports of a string of atrocities committed against the civilians. these are just a few of the videos to back up those allegations. she found the bodies on sunday. >> we came down to the basement to find this entire family lying dead. they were executed by guns. >> the fall seems to be going as planned for assad's forces. they were fightin fighting for e town. this would give them control of the entire region. >> we're joined from beirut to tell us more about this strategic importance, andrew, for the syrian army forces, and how they managed to push back the rebel fighters. >> yes, the town is important because it gives control of the highway between damascus and homes. that is a main line not only for
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supplies, but aid, and the syrian government is pushing for this point that crucial supplies and also a supply route for the rebel. this is not an over all victory. this is a mountainous region. the icy cold of winter is coming down on the mountains now, and it's getting very difficult for the syrian forces helped by hezbollah and militia from iraq, to get control. so the rebels will find it harder. it's certainly a big loss for them. but their insistence of the free commanders, including one fighter who was insistent that they could regain ground, and they would make it very hard for the syrian regime to get much
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further. but it is only one town left now effectively. the syrian forces have fully secured the highway and the town and this is a big blow for the opposition forces. >> how do they plan on retaking, if you can save that area. that particular area, the fighting has been going on for a couple of weeks now. >> it has been a long time because in the north of the country, the tactics that these fighters use, bushing forward, taking little areas, they can't be ruled out. and as i said, the winds are very fierce, and they'll take advantage of the new mobility.
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the syrian regime will be using air power but they'll have difficulty in that mountain range. the supply line is critical. it is a major, major blow. it is a massive blow. it will really cripple the opposition forces. >> thank you. reports from beirut. french soldiers video arrested a senior rebel commander. several hundred people have died in the last several days of violence. >> reporter: this is evidence to the french taking the commander. they have confiscated weapons and tied them up and kept them here. the french are telling us that these men are the same men responsible for an exchange of
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fire close to the airport. this all comes as news is developing of arrest of a top seleka commander. he was very close to the president, and we understand that he is now in french custody. now the french not only are disarming but they're here to protect the villagers. you see these people confident enough to come out to watch what is going on. but there are still tens of thousands of those in the city who are preferring to stay under forces at the airport. >> a suicide-bomber drove a car explosive into the main gates and building. the ministry complex has been targeted because u.s. drones
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were being operated from there. seven filipinos killed in an attack. they were working the hospital at military headquarters. 10 million filipinos work overseas. we have more from kiev and anti-government protests. >> reporter: there has been a headline set for demonstrators in kiev to take city hall. let's take you live to kiev.
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>> reporter: in the last few minutes we heard from the opposition meeting behind me at the trade union house, which they've been using as protest headquarters throughout the demonstration. their initial reaction is how can we negotiate and hold talks when we are surrounded by riot police. that's their message to the government. now they have not ruled out completely the idea of talks. they have been willing to negotiate, and that is the removal of president yanukovych and new elections. they are not all united, they have different views, but they have consensus on that reaction to the possibility of talks.
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my colleague has been following ththe day's events. >> reporter: interior military troops reach kiev. protesters in public buildings they have taken over. these aren't snowballs. they're made of plaster. the protesters are concerned that the place may hav the polie early and they scramble to their barricades and ready for assault. demands that the president side witsigntrade agreements with eun
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union or step aside. the e.u.s policy chief is flying to kiev. as the cold closes in organizers need the crowd to stay on independent square. there may be safety in numbers. >> tim, we just saw the end of that report with the cold really setting in. it's snowing where you are right you. what is going to be the impact on those protesters who are still trying to blockade the government buildings. >> reporter: well, i think it's going to have a huge impact. some have been camping out for more than two weeks. in these conditions the tempt temperatures are plummeting even further as we talk. and perhaps this whole
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demonstration will dissipate, but protesters tell me they're going to stay put. they're not going to move. the presence now of riot police on the edges of demonstration preventing fresh supplies of food, water and fuel to burn on their fires is going to have an impact. but as we talk we're getting news of clashes between police and protesters and we understand that the police have tried within the last few minutes to move in and try to dismantle some of the barricades that the protesters have set up over the last week or so. that's the latest from kiev. >> all right, life from kiev, we'll keep it life on the situation with police reaction there. i'll have more from europe a little later. including president putin's russia media closing down the main state news agency.
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>> thailand will hold it's parliamentary elections on the 2nd of february. these prime minister shinawatra's hope to end demonstrations. but they say that it isn't enough. >> reporter: the leader of the anti-government movement called for one more show of strength to topple the government. they sit on long journeys across bangkok. they called it the fina the fine and the objective was clear. the protests started a month ago. but the stated aim to give power to the people as they begin their long march the prime minister made a concession.
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>> brothers of thailand, i am yingluck shinawatra, the prime minister of thailand. i have decided to request a royal decree to dissolve parliament this year. >> but the goals of the protesters have changed, and their riot to the officers of the prime minister became clear that a new election was not enough. >> dissolving the parliament doesn't matter. we want to solve of the country's problems. dissolving parliament won't solve the country's problems. >> the opposition democrat party has failed to win the last five elections, a trend that is likely to continue in the next vote. now people here want to eradicate the regime of thansik
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shinawatra. the prime minister that they were trying to force out was the brother-in-law of the shinawatra. delivering another firing speech in front of the protesters. >> today we have done the best in thailand. this will enable us to change thailand and reform thailand for the future of the country. but apart from house dissolution nothing has changed. the protesters look like they're settling in for another long fight, although this was supposed to be the final day. al jazeera, bangkok. >> a difficult choice. a group in somalia choose
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between rebel fighters and letting families go hungry. change is demanded in washington. >> and announcements later in the program. first in egypt more than 50 students have been arrested after a violent protest at universities in cairo. opportunities were demonstrating in support of the post president mohammed morsi and several police cars were set on fire. students have been demonstrat dg for months now and they're calling for the release of dozens of students who have been arrested and held without charges. protests escalated after medical students were killed by security
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forces last month. >> it has been students protesting the coup against president mohamed morsi during the summer. the studen security forces incr, and today we had a group of women students beaten up by local residents and by security forces. we are told earlier last month we had 21 students facing trial for previous protests at the university. and we have another 12 students who already have been jailed for 17 years for protesting again at that same university. so considerable crackdown by
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security forces at the university, but they're continuing to protest, and they're gathering in intensity. >> a somali court has given jail time to a woman who said they was raped, and to two journalist who is reported her story. she was found guilty of offending state. it's the second time this year that people somalia have been sentenced for speaking out against rape. and aid groups helping famine victims in somalia were forced to pay armed groups two years ago. if they didn't they were not allowed to help shows suffering from the famine. aid workers were forced to pay
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$10,000, and if they did not comply they may be forced out or maybe even attacked. the founder of the institute of policy studies, and he's joining us live from mog dire shoe. camog dear shoe. i was just looking at your summary here. little is understood how agreements were reached and the terms of the arrangements between al-shabaab and the aid agencies because it was done discretely. >> this was based on interviews with more than 80 people
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including the officials in office. that's the al-shabaab agency tasked with monitoring and supervising aid agencies. at the same time applying policy, al-shabaab policies on aid agencies. the most important finding to the extent in which aid agencies were willing to compromise to negotiate access to al-shabaa al-shabaab-held areas in somalia and ultimately save lives. you mention there had were 260,000 people who perished in the 2011 fall minute. if these aid agencies were unable to negotiate access probably more people might have died. >> can you give us an specific example of what you found in your research? >> reporter: well, i think the most interesting element of the report is the extent to whichal
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had whichal-shabaab was able top an elaborate tax regime had a was aimed at extracting as much money from aid agencies as possible. there were fees that aid agencies were forced to pay. it ranged from $500 to $10,000 in some cases. and there were additional taxes levied on aid agencies. they ranged from individual projects. at the same time al-shabaab was able to apply a robust monitoring and supervising of aid agencies where they recruited recipients of aid to report on humanitarian workers. in the end one could argue that these activity versus saved lives on the part of humanitarian workers, but at the same time it became a source of
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revenue for al-shabaab. >> so what are you recommending from this report, from your research. >> reporter: well, one of the challenges that aid agencies face are the laws and counter terrorism regimes that exist in the west. if they're exposed they could be prosecuted for this. one of the recommendations in the report there needs to be a conversation about the intent of these laws. the intent of these laws was not to starve people to death. obviously it was to make sure money does not make its way through terrorist organizations. that's a legitimate goal to have. but if the outcome of that is the net result of that becomes starving people to death, and then we have a problem. i think there needs to be discussion around the counter terror laws. the other recommendation there needs to be comprehensive arrangement among aid agencies operating in somalia so they can have a collective strategy against al-shabaab.
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right now they're operating individually-- >> let me ask you this because we're running out of time. earlier this year the monitoring group of somalia was accusing government forces as well from extorting money from aid agencies. it just seems to be a problem across militia of al-shabaab as well as government forces taking money. >> reporter: well, this report did not particularly look into government extortion of money or allegations, but i wouldn't be surprised if that existed. aid agencies are working in some of the most difficult environments in somalia. but one thing that aid agencies can do together is to have a collective strategy to negotiate collectively to get an union formed access to al-shabaab her tores to deliver assistance. >> thank you. speaking to us from mogadishu.
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venezuela's president said this he will force businesses to cut prices. he had 49% of the votes. the coalition will be a test of the government. this is the reaction of president madu ro against his opponent. >> we have doubts of people of venezuela have told the world that the revolution continues. >> the results, according to the national electoral council is thaisthat this is a divided cou. do we want a divide venezuela? no, we want an united venezuela. >> singapore has set up an
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inquiry to investigate the city's worse riots in years. 27 people were arrested after two police vehicles were set on fire. charles stratford reports. >> reporter: a police car under attack on the streets of singapore. the crowd eventually overturned the vehicle. others they set on fire. a rare out break and rioting in a city state knowner it's strict laws on disorder. the incident happened in the area's called little india. it reportedly started after a bus hit and killed a foreign worker. the crowd that smashed the bus windows and five police cars were attacked, three of them overturned.
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>> reporter: the police commissioner said they had never seen rioting on singapore streets in his 27 years as an officer. >> this incident is very risky we will spare no effort to arrest those responsible. >> reporter: little india is usually packed on sundays where people gather on their day off. the prime minister appealed for calm. >> this is a serious incident. it started from a fatal traffic accident from a private bus and worker. >> reporter: rioting could bring
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seven years in jail and possible caning. such a sudden outpouring of anger against the authorities is likely to fuel debate about the level of discontent among low paid foreign workers in this strictly governed city state. >> still ahead, political squabbling over security deal causing fear in the business community. we'll report from myanmar where a number of farmers are battling the government in court. and we'll find out why this shot from zach johnson left tiger woods with agrin in the pga in california.
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original, in-depth reporting al jazeera america is known for. >> to find out more about al jazeera america go to consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares in a professional athlete? power of the people until we restore our freedo
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>> on america tonight a remarkable breakthrough in the treatment of cancer. >> just a miracle...
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>> people who had no hope now tell their extraordinary stories. >> i thought i was gonna die... on america tonight on al jazeera america >> syrian government force versus seized control and controls one of the only supply
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roots from northern syria to the south. the wyatt where hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters speak out. >> afghanistan president hamid karzai is still unwilling to sign the agreement. deadlines have come and gone, and jane ferguson are reporting how afghans are getting nervous regarding the future of their economy. >> reporter: for more than ten years the money market in kabul has done a roaring business. foreign aid and investment poured into the economy, and
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afghans making money honestly or otherwise, traded in foreign exchange. now it's bus yeser than ever because of increasing anxiety of the local currency of the afghani. the president of afghanistan is still refuse to go sign the security pact with the u.s. that would mean some foreign forces would remain after 2014. but billion dollars of aid would remain. with that the economy is expected to collapse without that. that is causing fear in the business community. >> if it is not signed then people will be panicked and it will effect the country. it is disappointing and our businessmen are not investing. people are worried because they cannot work confidently. >> at afghans panic and exchange their money for u.s. dollars the afghani dollar is being devalued. where much of the food is
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imported prices are going up. >> reporter: this is where afghanis come to spend their hard earned money, but food price versus gone up the last few days. that's because people who sell it here buy it from wholesalers in dollars. the exchange rate has never been so bad. in a few short weeks the price of sacks of flour have soared. >> the prices are become so high. now it's expensive, and people are so poor they can't forward to buy anything. >> reporter: few afghans have the wealth not to worry about investments. it is quickly effected the things they do worry about. simply putting food on the
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table. jane ferguson, al jazeera, kabul, afghanistan. >> the world's biggest technology companies are demanding to u.s. surveillance laws. they have written an open letter to president obama and they say the government needs to preserve people's trust in the internet. what are they demanding and are they proposing reforms. >> reporter: that's a good question, but first what they're demanding from the u.s. government is five principles to be respected. the core principles is the end to the mass data collecting. we've learned from edward snowdon is the collecting and storing. they say that has to end. there has to be more of a legal
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framework and more accountability and transparency about these operations. they're very worried. these internet companies say they're worried as a result customers around the world simply aren't going to use their services if there is going to be a direct line to the government. as you suggested there are questions that aren't addressed. for stars, why do these companies collect so much information about us in the first place. maybe if they didn't collect so much information and store it away, maybe the government wouldn't raid their companies and keep it for use. >> how powerful could they be in their lobbying. according to research some of these complicit with thes in sa and question are raised about their complicit. >> reporter: yes, and some of these companies say they only
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cooperated with the government because they were under legal duress. for others it's not so clear. that's some of the debase going on in the technology community, how much duplicity there is. they also have some lobbying clout here in the u.s. and these companies are incredibly rich. the head of the senate intelligence committee dianne feinstein presented a bill that doesn't really reform all of these processes, these mass collections. we'll have to see if there is any change there. one thing that is important to stress is when we're talking about reform and change. they're really only concerned change with regard to american citizens. if you're not an american citizen you're not part of the debate in the u.s. as far as the government is
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concerned its up to your own government to protect your information. and the government is probably sharing with the u.s. governme government. >> it's been revealed that live network has been infiltrated by intelligence agencies. they have used games like world of war craft and second life to scout out potential informants. u.s. spies have collected data and communications between millions of gamers. shutting down the country's main state news agency for more on that let's go back to the city of london. >> reporter: yes, vladimir putin is replacing a news agency with
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a new organization. which will promote russia's image abroad. al jazeera we're joined live in process co moscow. >> reporter: it's one of the biggest news agency notice world. it has bureaus in 25 countries. it's broadcast in 22 languages, online and one of the main official responders of the up coming february olympic games in sochi. it's no secret, though, that in the past it hasn't always slaveishly followed the party line, and it's no secret that it's chief editors has had an uneasy relationship, let's put it like that, with one of the
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kremlin's top press aids for vladimir putin. was the writing on the wall, not to the journalists. most o of them learned about the demise of their organization by looking at the kremlin website in the morning. so it is resolved as is the voice of russia, the radio station, and they're all becoming a new big conglomerate over the next three months in russia today. >> there is a suspicion about why it was shut down, but what was the official explanation? >> reporter: well, the kremlin beau contracts, as they are even in the kremlin say this is for commercial reasons. the changes were made for commercial reasons saving money, increasing the effectiveness of the news service. but that doesn't convince everyone they feel is another tightening, a tightening of the screws on an already heavily
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regulated media, and the choice of the man to run thi this, he s very vehemently ain't gay, ain't ukraine when recently he was talking about the protesters in kiev, ain't opposition, and his appointment will, among the liberal circles, create really a storm of opposition. >> peter sharp live in moscow. thank you, beater. >> now the u.k. first supermarket aimed at helping the country's poorest has opened doors in northern england. it claims to be britain's food store. prices are up to 70% lower than other shops.
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>> reporter: as austerity measures take hold statewide the poor are getting poorer. but this new community super hopes to help those most in need. those who have been depending on handouts to survive. >> it is about using surplus food for social good and the people who benefit the most from that are the people on the cusp of food poverty. >> reporter: all the food and goods here come from the country's large supermarkets that for some reason or another would have been thrown away, maybe misshapenned or mislabeled. but this story is about more than low-cost food. it's about encouraging people back into society.
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>> people here don't have a lot, so it's been a problem. >> reporter: more than a thousand similar stores have opened in spain and greece during the global recession. 24 for are planned for the u.k. next year. nigel green is set to benefit from the new supermarket. he manages spiraling costs by growing his own food. >> costs are really high. really high. >> reporter: like many this winter nigel is often forced to choose between eating and heating his family's home. >> we have to make a choice on what you want. >> reporter: the u.k. is the world's sixth largest economy.
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the one in five live in the state poverty line. hard times now call for creative solutions. al jazeera, south yorkshire. >> finally people in the german city of dresdan will be celebrating christmas in style. the traditional stollen cake made with raisins, lemon peel and rum weighs in at a massive 2,436-kilos. it took 60 bakers, and contains 16 million-calories. that is the latest news in europe. back to doha. >> thank you very much for the time being. we'll have all the sports including a former premiere
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footballer becomes the latest arrest in spot fixes scandal. plus the tributes keep coming in for nelson mandela and world leaders are on their way to join in.
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>> myanmar has promised to release all political prisoners by the end of 2013. but with the deadline approaching more than 200 protesters are still facing trial. as reports from the irwati delta, many are farmers fighting for their land.
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the officer tile plains of the delta often described as the race basket of myanmar, for many years part of the planned stood idle after it was confiscated by the government in the 1990s. >> reporter: land seizures were common, but speaking out against them was almost unheard of. today people are encouraged by a wave of political reform and more willing to demand their rights. some do that by simply working on land that they consider theirs an act of defiance that has landed some in prison. >> it's possible to give back the lapped which was lawlessly confiscated from farmers as long as we're united. [ protesters ] >> reporter: they're becoming boulder, taking their grievances to the streets, but there have
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been con consequences. >> the wealthy croonies and those who confiscated the land remain part of the government. their interest remain deeply entrenched in this conflict. >> reporter: the government has formed a parliamentary committee to look into the matter. but one lawyer who handle such cases say the committee's scope is limited, and it's independence is curtailed back to the administration. >> they are already protests by the farmers that if this is not resolved quickly this could lead
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to crisis and maybe to riots. >> reporter: this is a largely rural community. if not resolved it could under mine the country's path to political an reform. >> preparations are are under way for the state funeral of nelson mandela. 80,000 people are expected to attend the service. over 90 heads of state are expected to fly in for that service at the f & b stadium in soweto. president bush is on his way with the first lady and former presidents bush and clinton are due to arrive to take a part that have memorial. of course, mandela believed education was the foundation for a new south africa. but 37 years protesting in soweto, apartheid is proving hard to overcome.
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[ cheering ] >> nelson mandela supporting and encouraging children in school. from the start of his career as an anti-apartheid activist, he placed education is the the center of the struggle. his single priority was develop the nation's education. in 197, the soweto up rising began over being forced to learn afrikaans, the language of the oppressors. noone of the students who rioted now is principal of the school. >> wlater because of they were
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trying to educate us and we begin to understand why the situation, why the up rising. >> reporter: here the students learn as nelson mandela, to educate black students to the level of their white counter parts, to give them purpose. >> they have struggled to fulfill mandela's vision. schools outside cape town are more typical of the problems that the system is struggling with. activists argue there is now a dangerous gap between the promise of education and what is
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actually delivered. schools boast of 70% pass rate but to graduate students only need 30% of their examines. a third of them won't be literate by the time they leave. >> at the end of their 12th year study about 15% of those young people have fallen out of the system, so it also has to do with the courage, and the kind of training that our teachers have had. >> reporter: so schools are still struggling with the legacy of apartheid.
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>> scoring 68 goals. barcelona's messi has won this crown four times but the actingen has been troubled with injury this year. the winner will be announced on january 13th. now former english premier league campbell has been arrested and questioned by police. he's one of six people held for spot fixes. the 32-year-old campbell plays for blackburn that has played in the premier league and comes a day after sun newspaper former nigeria an fan said he could fix premier league and world cup
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matches. lee we willing said the arrest of campbell appears at the highest level will concern england's football authorities. >> there were arrests and charges which underlined how often the fixes in that case they target the lower leagues and they're vulnerable. yes involving portsmouth, and now now blackburn ipswich going that was just played and campbell being arrested. it's a huge worry and it will come out, everyone around the game is concerned about this, and of course it is not just england, it's happening everywhere, and it's because of the ability to manipulate an individual. this is not match fixing, that
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the allegations are around, this is spot fixing, the ability to take part of a game, target that and make some money. that's what these allegations are all about. that means all sport is vulnerable. >> cricket and australia with the 2-0 lead after completing a comfortable 218 run win inned na adelaide. they ended up with 457. australia would wrap things up. mitchell johnson was named man of the match. >> these two wins satisfy me because of the work over a long period of time. in our opinion it was hard work that we put in, but we were
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disappointed not to get over the line and have success. we put in work over a long period of time, now we're seeing results and we're very pleased. >> we have to be honest with ourselves. the only guys who can change it are the guys in the dressing room. no one can change it for us. we can't be moping about it. it's hurting us like hell, but we're the only ones who can change it. >> unfortunately it wasn't a happy homecoming for kobe against the raptors. they ran up 106-94. golf tiger woods blew a four-shot weed on sunday morning as he watched zach johnson claim the world's title.
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>> reporter: tiger woods came close but not close enough. s woods was paired with zach johnson for the final round battle. it came down to the 18th hole after johnson closed with birdies on 16 and 17. zach johnson appeared to be finished when he put his approach shot in the water. but having taken a drop, johnson produced this moment of magic. [ cheering ] >> reporter: tiger needed par on the final hole. but he placed his second shot in the bunker. woods recovered to save par to force an one-hole playoff. woods and johnson would play 18 again. and tiger found himself back in the same bunker. after zach johnson two-putted,
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tiger needed to sink his par put to force a second playoff hole. but with the miss johnson completed the comeback finishing 4 under on sunday and 13 under overall on the tournament. >> it's nice, especially when it's my last tournament of the year. i mean, tiger played great. the ones i made, he seemed to miss. he was our host. >> it was pretty impressive what he did on 16, 17, and 18. >> reporter: the world challenge was johnson's first victory of the new season and his final appearance of 2013. al jazeera. >> that is sport. we'll have more later. >> we'll see robben later. for international viewers, i'm back in just a moment for more
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news. in-depth journalism. >> you give them the facts, dispense with the fluff and get straight to the point. >> i'm on the ground every day finding stories that matter to you. >> in new orleans... >> seattle bureau... >> washington... >> detroit... >> chicago... >> nashville... >> los angeles... >> san francisco... >> al jazeera america, take a new look at news.
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>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories we're following for you. money and guns. congress working around the clock on the budget and extension of a firearms ban. world leaders now travel to go south africa. they're there to attend the memorial for nelson mandela. and americans around the country are digging out following this latest blast of ice and snow. >> battle over the budget congress on the verge of a new spending deal as lawmakers spend
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